More than a decade or so ago, after landing in Canada as an immigrant, the idea of settling in the Philippines again in the future never occured to me. I was just so glad that I have left the country and was able to bring my own family with me looking forward to a better future.
And I was right. We are so blessed in our new home and have so many things to thank Canada for – both financially and physically. We now live in one of the best places in the world to be in – with free education for the kids until high school, universal health care, easy access to government help or resources and so many others that were deprived many citizens of the world, including the Philippines.
On the outset, it seems we are already in our perfect little world, so there’s no reason to think of ‘Pinas anymore, but because of a combination of several experiences and other factors – I once again felt this yearning to go back there at least semi-permanently, for now.
There are several reasons why I suddenly made a change of heart which I would discuss some below:
1) First and the most important of all is that it’s time to have a business presence in the Philippines because customers of our travel agency in Canada requires our assistance there, too. Our plan to put up an extension office in Manila was put on hold for some time because of personnel concerns. It’s difficult to run and finance an office from overseas if there’s no one you can trust to look after it for you. We know because we tried it twice.
2) Second, now that our business is somewhat stable in growth, we felt that it’s time to share some of the blessings to our unfortunate relatives through employment. We realize that we should have instead chose to expand here in Canada but knowing what we know now, Canadians don’t need our help. In terms of employment, there are so many alternatives here that doesn’t exist in the Philippines.
3) I’m beginning to feel what I usually hear when I was still a “newbie” in Canada – winter time depression. It’s something that I never felt before because I enjoyed snow and winter sports during my early years. I love to ice skate (which I learned with my youngest) and toboganning and shoveling snow. But my love for the winter season slowly died down when I started going back to the Philippines and felt for the first time the benefits of a longer warm season. Not to mention being able to go around some parts of the Philippines which I will talk about next. The past three years I am always gloomy when I feel that winter is approaching which makes me more susceptible to sickness.
4) Canada is a very beautiful country if you experience being here in the summer. My province of Ontario is blessed with natural beauty, resources and wildlife like no other in the world. The big but is, you only experience them in the summer. During my very first visit to the Philippines after several years in Canada, I never really went around to see any other place. I stayed in Manila all the time to visit and reconnect with friends and family.
But on my second and recent visits, I went on my own – did not stay in any relatives’ house but did visit them once or twice – and went to see the “real” Philippines. I visited other parts of the country and saw for the first time (for real!) how beautiful the Philippines is and really enjoyed being there again!
I think that my recent experience being in the Philippines is what triggered what many oldtimers here term as winter time depression in me. And my last hospitalization is the worst and unforgettable of all.
So there. Those are just the major reasons why I am decided on returning to the Philippines semi-permanently. My plan is to stay there during the winter season and come back to Canada in the summer. Part of this plan also is to go around the country as a Canadian travel agent to visit resorts and form partnership with them so we can sell the Philippines to Canadians who are interested in visiting the Philippines but are otherwise clueless on which places to visit.
I’m just itching to fly there immediately!